Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Christmas Cards, Pt 1

Here are a few of the cards I've made this year. This batch repurposes images from old store-bought cards.

Paper: DCWV, Darice
Ink: Real Red, Night of Navy
Stamps: Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Canvas, Botanicals (all from Stampin' Up)
Accessories: Computer-printed greetings, Word Window punch, Circle Punches, Oval Punchse, Dimensionals

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Skywatch Friday 86

Up on the roof top turkey pause
Not a sign of Santa Claus . . .

Due to the proximity of several nature preserves, it is not unusual to see wild turkeys roaming my neighborhood, usually in groups of three to ten. Last Friday I saw the largest flock of turkeys I have ever seen, between forty to fifty birds. They literally stopped traffic to cross the street, and brought people out to gawk at them. Here are a few of the many photos taken that afternoon.

(See Wednesday's post for more.)

LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thursday Thirteen 363: Christmas Sing-Along

One weekend this month while washing the dishes, I had the radio tuned to a local station that plays 24-hour Christmas music. I like this station as they play a nice mix of the old and the new, traditional and contemporary. Here are the songs I was singing along to while cleaning up the kitchen that day.

1. Christmas in the Sand by Colbie Caillait

2. Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill

3. Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano

4. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing by Amy Grant

5. The Heart of Christmas by Matthew West

6. Carol of the Bells by Manheim Steamroller

7. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams

8. The Little Drummer Boy by Chicago

9. Winter Wonderland by Johnny Mathis

10. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravencroft

11. Hangin' Round the Mistletoe by Brooks and Dunn

12. I'll Be Home For Christmas by Tony Bennett

13. The Christmas Song by Michael Bublé

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen

Wordless Wednesday 161: Christmas Turkeys

Due to the proximity of several nature preserves, it is not unusual to see wild turkeys roaming my neighborhood, usually in groups of three to ten. Last Friday I saw the largest flock of turkeys I have ever seen, between forty to fifty birds. They literally stopped traffic to cross the street, and brought people out to gawk at them. Here are a few pics I was able to get.

(Come back Friday for more.)


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 15, 2014

Random Photo: Winter Fare

First we tried the seed variety . . . 

. . .  and then the suet 'n berries

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Skywatch Friday 85

A local holiday display is lighting up the evening sky in Madison. There are more than 30 different displays using thousands of LED lights. Holiday Fantasy in Lights started in November and is open through New Year's Eve. These are a few of the many photos I took on a recent drive through . . .

LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thursday Thirteen 362: Recently Read

My last Recently Read post of the year! Here's a look at what I've read the last couple months. For a fifth consecutive year, I have successfully completed my Goodreads challenge of 100 books in a year  and I did it before Christmas this year. Last year I was struggling to get that last book in before New Year's Eve. It will be interesting to see how many over I go this year. As always, click on any cover to find out more about a book.


ROW 1: I started November by catching up on a couple books in the "Pepper Martin" series by Casey Daniels, Dead Man Talking (#5) and Tomb With a View (#6). Three more to go . . . The Mournful Teddy was read for a November mini challenge and is first in a "Bear Collectors" series.

ROW 2: Under the Hill is a short mystery story by Sheila Connolly that is currently free at B&N and Amazon. Biting the Moon and Dakota are books one and two respectively in the "Andi Oliver" series by Martha Grimes. Dakota was chosen for a "Read the USA" mystery challenge (North Dakota was one of several difficult states to find). I recommend reading these in order, as I did. Also note that both contain gritty material some readers may not like.

ROW 3: I am trying to catch up on Lisa Scottoline's books, beginning with Think Twice, (Rosato & Associates #11). Two more to go there, as well as a couple non-series books. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is a classic children's book I had never read before and loved. I highly recommend this to writers and those who love word play. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham was read for a quarterly group read. I liked this one a lot more than anticipated.

ROW 4: The Aristocrat by Catherine Coulter is a slightly older romance plucked out of Mount TBR for an "Autumn/Fall" challenge. A White Cougar Christmas is a Christmas novella that is currently free at B&N and Amazon. I won The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak through a contest at Goodreads. It is book seven in her "Whiskey Creek" series, but other than some confusion on relationships, I didn't feel I missed much by not reading the previous six books.

ROW 5: Book number 100 in my Goodreads annual challenge is by a favorite author, Vicki Lewis Thompson. A Last Chance Christmas is book seventeen in her "Sons of Chance" series.

YOUR TURN: What are you reading right now?

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 160: The Watcher

Ziva, a friend's cat, window-watching


Wordless Wednesday

Teaser Tuesday 245: A Last Chance Christmas

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

I'm reading another Christmas romance this week, this one quite a bit hotter. A Last Chance Christmas is book 17 in a series by Vicki Lewis Thompson that I have enjoyed these last few years. It's also book #100 in my Goodreads challenge to read 100 again this year, so big YAY! Here's a bit of an exchange between the main characters, Molly and Ben. I'm sure you can figure out which line is his (grin). 

"That's true, but I just realized I'm getting very hot in this coat, so forget about that question for now. We can talk about it after we come back from the tractor barn and take off all these clothes."

"Depending on how much you plan to take off, we should definitely talk about it."

(Molly and Ben, Chapter 5)

Genre: Romance
Series: Sons of Chance #17

A Christmas kiss from a cowboy . . .

Ben Radcliffe reckons it'll be a cold day in hell before he considers a serious relationship or family of his own—with good reason. When he delivers a "secret" present to the Last Chance Ranch, however, Ben catches a glimpse of what family could be. And suddenly this lone cowboy finds himself under the mistletoe…planting one heck of a kiss on a stunning woman!

Genealogist and academic Molly Gallagher is all about family. And even if Ben's secrets make him as skittish as a wild mustang, there's nothing Molly loves more than an enigma. Especially a ridiculously sexy one! But the magic of Christmas—and the Last Chance Ranch—might not be enough to wrangle a cowboy who can't trust himself . . .